Donald Trump's Trade Wars Have Cost Nebraska Farmers Over $1 Billion and Counting, Farm Bureau Says

President Donald Trump's ongoing trade wars have reportedly been costly for Nebraska agriculture.

Farmers in the Cornhusker State have lost more than $1 billion in revenue due to the retaliatory tariffs as foreign customers decline to pay higher prices for goods, according to a new report issued by the Nebraska Farm Bureau on Monday.

“Retaliatory tariffs make our U.S. products more expensive for international customers, meaning they buy less or buy from someplace else,” Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said in a press release. “This report provides a clear picture of how much we’ve lost due to those tariffs and the need to improve our trade relations.”

President Trump continues to praise the imposed tariffs, claiming they have benefited American steel interests and denied the notion that they have created problems for the U.S. automobile industry.

Trump also vowed that a new trade truce between the U.S. and China will "have an incredibly positive impact on ... every type of product."

"Farmers will be a a very BIG and FAST beneficiary of our deal with China," Trump tweeted Monday. "They intend to start purchasing agricultural product immediately. We make the finest and cleanest product in the World, and that is what China wants. Farmers, I LOVE YOU!"

However, American farmers aren't expected to gain back all their losses from the previous trade tarrifs, according to Iowa State University agricultural economist Chad E. Hart.

"We won't gain back everything we lost," Hart said. "We sort of lost our window of opportunity in the Chinese market, at least for this growing season. Once you've established trade flow and get that shipping all worked out, it's hard to want to move away from that."

The Farm Bureau report on Nebraska's economy didn't include Market Facilitation Payments -- which are part of a $12 billion program intended to offset the loss of farm revenues following trade disruptions. According to the report, the first half of Market Facilitation Payments is expected to equal an estimated $300 million for the Cornhusker State.

U.S. trading partners including Canada, Mexico and the European Union have responded to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs by implementing their own levies on American products -- specifically ones within the agricultural sector.

The Farm Bureau report included data from a previous Iowa State University study on the impact that retaliatory tarriffs had on the price of various goods. The report took that information and estimated how it affected Nebraska overall.

Corn, soybeans and pork have seen a significant decline, which has been partly offset by a large number of U.S beef exports, according to analysis by Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist Jay Rempe.

South Korea and Japan, which are the major customers for U.S. beef, have not been affected by the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, therefore have not responded with their own retaliatory tariffs.

“The total loss in Nebraska farm revenues due to the retaliatory tariffs ranges from $695 million to $1.026 billion so far in 2018,” Rempe said. “That’s roughly 11 to 16 percent of the export values of Nebraska agriculture goods in 2017.”

The analysis combined the direct farm losses with the state's labor income losses, concluding that the state's total economic loss from the trade retaliatory tariffs was estimated between $859 million and $1.2 billion.

“To put a $1.2 billion loss into perspective, every person in the state of Nebraska would need to contribute $632 to cover that volume of lost dollars," Rempe said. "That’s a significant hit to our state’s economy.”

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